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Govt issues guidelines regulating sales of ayurvedic drugs on e-commerce platforms

Govt issues guidelines regulating sales of ayurvedic drugs on e-commerce platforms

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By Timsy Jaipuria   IST (Updated)

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The Ministry of Ayush issued a notice in February 2016 warning stakeholders not to purchase such drugs online without medical consultation and to take them under medical supervision. As per Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the CCPA is responsible for protecting, promoting, and enforcing consumer rights as well as preventing violations.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued an advisory to e-commerce entities over the sale of ayurvedic, siddha, and inani drugs. These guidelines will ensure that e-pharmacies and e-commerce portals are not selling drugs containing ingredients listed in Schedule E (1) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, without updating a valid prescription from a registered practitioner.
Schedule E lists poisonous substances under the ayurveda (including siddha) and unani systems of medicine.
"E-commerce platforms have been advised that the sale or facilitating the sale of such drugs shall be done only after a valid prescription of a registered ayurveda, siddha, or unani practitioner respectively is uploaded by the user on the platform. Consuming such drugs without medical supervision can lead to severe health complications," the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said in a press release.
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The Ministry of Ayush issued a notice in February 2016 warning stakeholders not to purchase such drugs online without medical consultation and to take them under medical supervision. As per Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the CCPA is responsible for protecting, promoting, and enforcing consumer rights as well as preventing violations.
The regulator is empowered to prevent unfair trade practices and ensure that no person engages himself in unfair trade practices. CCPA said it is consistently monitoring the issues affecting consumer welfare.
Once the guidelines are in place, they will be in sync with existing guidelines for e-pharmacies/e-commerce portals selling mainstream medicines, which also have a restriction for a certain category of drugs, which cannot be sold without a valid prescription.
Post the pandemic, India has seen a sudden demand for traditional medicines, and the government feels excessive consumption in certain cases has led to serious health adversities.
Given the huge demand, a lot of pharma companies and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have launched their range of ayurvedic drugs and supplements, which are easily available at nearby departmental stores, pharmacies, and across e-commerce portals and e-pharmacies.
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